Ireland > Inishbofin Half Marathon
Inishbofin, Ireland • Saturday, May 18, 2013 • Course Map
Sparsely populated and characterized by the same green, rocky hills that are found throughout its larger neighbor to the southeast, the Republic of Ireland, the island of Inishbofin plays host each year to the Inishbofin Half Marathon, which will mark its 8th annual running in the spring of 2013 along this beautifully scenic, peaceful and pastoral island just off the coast of Galway, near Ireland's Connemara region in the northwestern part of the country.
The 13.1-mile course for the race makes use of the main road that follows a loop route through the island's interior, and is considered both hilly and challenging for the roughly 80 runners who make their way to the island for this race each year. From the starting line in Westquarter, the course takes runners southeast toward the village of Fawnmore, where it begins the loop section of the course that has runners following a clockwise direction around the "High Road" and the "Low Road" sections of the loop.
The High Road section of the course takes runners through some of Ireland's most remote and beautiful scenery, as sheep grazing on grassy, rocky hills overlook farmland bordered by ancient stone fences. Runners follow the High Road through the areas known as Middlequarter and Cloonamore toward the waters of East End Bay, just a few miles away from the mainland.
Once runners make their way around the turn at East End Bay, they then head west along the Low Road back in the direction of Fawnmore, passing through Knock on their way to the stretch of the race that runs along Inishbofin's southern coast, overlooking the harbor.
Runners make three laps along the loop along the High and Low roads, before turning off from the Low Road just before finishing the third lap, onto the Pound Road, which features what race organizers describe as "Heart Break Hill," perhaps the most challenging hill of the race. The comfort is that once you climb this hill, you've almost reached the finish, which lies just a short stretch away at the village known as the Boreen, not far from Inishbofin's Days Hotel.
The trip to the island -- which is reachable only by ferry -- is something you'll definitely want to make a vacation of, as the island is one of the country's most pristine natural habitats for endangered species and just pure natural beauty. The race also is a fundraiser for the West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.
Race Weather & Climate
Located just off the northwest coast of Ireland, just seven miles as the crow flies from Galway, the island of Inishbofin typically experiences weather conditions much like those of the country as a whole, with more benign, sunny and warm weather in what is called the "high season" (which lasts from March through September).
That's not to say you won't see rain, wind or other inclement weather during your stay in May -- light rain is common throughout the year in Ireland. In nearby Galway, the average monthly temperatures range between 58°F (14°C) and 43°F (6°C).
View the race route map for the Inishbofin Half Marathon
Plus €100 fundraising target
To reserve your spot in the late spring 2013 running of the Inishbofin Half Marathon, visit the event website.
Official Race Website
Leave a Comment
Ever run in Ireland's annual Inishbofin Half Marathon? Share your impressions, stories and tips from the event.